McCabe Once Suspended Agent Without Pay for Same Thing Sessions Fired Him Over


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Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe is mad as hell that he got fired 26 hours before he could collect a full lifetime pension, and he’s not going to take it.

Ever since the firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions — which stems from a report from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility that found he had improperly talked to the media and had “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions” during the inquiry into the Hillary Clinton email investigation — McCabe has been on the warpath against both the Department of Justice and the FBI.

“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” McCabe said in a statement. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”

Part of this “attack on his credibility” is the finding that McCabe improperly talked to The Wall Street Journal to try to get a reporter “off this narrative” that he “had tried to slow down or stop our investigative efforts on the Clinton Foundation case.” (All his own words.) That, he said, was “absolutely within my authority as deputy director.”

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So, in other words, McCabe can talk to reporters in order to change the political trajectory of a story.

For former FBI Agent Fred Humphries, not so much.

You probably haven’t heard of Humphries. Back in 2017, Humphries — a 21-year veteran of the FBI, the same as McCabe — complained to the Tampa Times of a double standard in how the Michael Flynn and David Petraeus cases had been handled by the FBI.

So, who ordered an investigation into Humphries that led to a 60-day suspension and Humphries’ eventual resignation from the Bureau? Why, none other than Andrew McCabe.

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The story of Humphries’ involvement in the Petraeus case is a rather torturous one. As the Tampa Times points out, Humphries came into the spotlight in 2012 “after family friend Jill Kelley reached out to him about a troubling e-mail received by then-Marine Gen. John Allen, one of her military friends. It ‘disparaged Kelley and made reference to an upcoming dinner they were having with several senior foreign intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials,’ according to court documents later filed.”

Kelley was concerned about a possible breach of security, considering that Gen. Allen had recently taken over for Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan after Petraeus became President Barack Obama’s CIA director. After turning it over to his FBI office’s cyber crimes investigator in June of 2012, he noticed that the investigation was being delayed.

You may perhaps know what happened next, but TL;DR version for those who don’t: The investigation eventually revealed Petraeus was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and had also passed confidential information to her. That led to his political downfall.

However, Humphries’ problems were just beginning. Humphries had contacted his old supervisor about his concerns that the affair was being hushed up because, in the supervisor’s words, “hey, nobody wants to stir anything up before the election.”

The supervisor, concerned Petraeus could be blackmailed, contacted a congressman who contacted then-House Whip Eric Cantor, a GOP representative from Virginia. He contacted the FBI, wondering why there was a cover-up. On the same day, Humphries’ supervisors lambasted him for talking about the case outside of the Bureau. Cantor went as far as to advise Humphries to get a lawyer. In 2016, Humphries received two weeks of unpaid leave for the incident.

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By 2017, Humphries was fed up with how the FBI’s top brass was handling the Michael Flynn case as opposed to how they handled the Petraeus case. The agent went to the Tampa Times and said that the difference between the cases was “the ultimate hypocrisy and double standard,” considering that the DOJ was willing to go to the Trump White House over concerns that Flynn could be blackmailed for his ties to Russia, yet Obama’s DOJ during the Petraeus scandal claimed they had done nothing to inform the president that Petraeus could be blackmailed.

“You are telling me that acting Attorney General Sally Yates was comfortable going to the White House to inform them of an investigation of Gen. Flynn, but yet the attorney general and FBI director at the time said they never would have discussed such a thing during the Petraeus scandal?” Humphries told the Times.

Much like McCabe, Humphries had talked to the media to influence the trajectory of a story. Nothing he said was actually unavailable to the media — he was just putting known facts into context as he saw them. And so, what happened next?

“Humphries said that in August of 2017, McCabe’s office asked the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, its internal affairs branch, to investigate him for unauthorized communications with the media,” the Times reported.

“In October, Humphries said, the OPR investigation found he was wrong for talking to the Times, and issued him a two-month unpaid suspension, which he served in November and December of 2017. Investigators also criticized Humphries over a November 2016 interview his wife, Sara, gave to the Times in which she spelled out the stresses her family was undergoing as the result of being thrust into the spotlight.”

On Friday, both McCabe and Humphries left the FBI — Humphries by choice, McCabe not so much.

It’s worth noting out that talking to the media wasn’t the only reason that McCabe was fired. There was also that part about how he “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.” That’s actually a much bigger deal than it sounds on paper. “Lacking candor” with FBI officials, especially under oath, is a fireable offense.

In one case from 1998, an employee was fired because the Bureau found that an agent’s “lack of candor, combined with the poor judgment (he) exhibited on February 27, 1998, the numerous instances of transporting an unauthorized passenger, and the multiple infractions of Time and Attendance policy, result in a totality of the circumstances that disqualify (the agent) from future employment with the FBI.”

Translation: The agent used an FBI vehicle to drive his daughter to school and was fired because he exhibited a “lack of candor” when asked about it during an interview. In a 2002 ruling, a judge upheld the firing. That’s how serious “lack of candor” is when it comes to the FBI — and this wasn’t about a government-supplied car, it was about the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.

In other words, McCabe did much worse than a guy that he had investigated and was eventually suspended. There was the lack of candor issue, combined with the disclosure to the media. And, unlike Humphries, McCabe revealed new facts to the media — namely, that the Department of Justice “was not impressed with the (Clinton Foundation) case, and they didn’t believe it should be going forward.” Those, again, are McCabe’s own words — and they constituted information that, true or not, was not in the public domain.

As for Fred Humphries, he’s not exactly on Team McCabe when it comes to the firing.

“Fred Humphries woke up Saturday morning and for the first time ever raised a blue and white Federal Bureau of Investigation flag on the pole in his front yard,” the Times reported.

“I was encouraged and hopeful,” Humphries said about McCabe’s termination.

For all of the invective spewed by McCabe, those five words speak volumes. They came from someone who did the same thing McCabe did. He ended up getting punished. McCabe, the man who initiated that punishment, thinks he himself shouldn’t face any repercussions.


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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture